Sunday, February 12, 2023

Newest Acquisitions (Virtual "Show & Tell") ~ part 462

Our next meeting (which is this Thursday--Feb. 16) will feature red fountain pens and inks, so I thought I'd post a quick review of a red pen I bought in Richmond last month at Nikaido-- my new Platinum 'Prefounte' fountain pen' in "Crimson Red"!

(please click on images to enlarge)

The design is minimalist --a slender cylinder with flat, softly-rounded ends and no trim rings or adornments (and no branding in huge letters on the barrel--I'm looking at *you*, Platinum 'Preppy'!!). The body of the 'Prefounte' is made of highly-polished polycarbonate resin and comes in five clear colours -- Crimson Red, Dark Emerald, Vermilion Orange, Graphite Blue and Night Sea (a bright blue).

The pen only takes Platinum's proprietary ink cartridges or a Platinum converter, but it comes with one blue black Platinum cartridge to get you started. Platinum ink converters cost around $10-$12 CAD (which almost doubles the price of the pen), but as the barrel lacks holes, you could easily convert the pen to an eyedropper-filler and save yourself some money. If you decide to do this, make sure you apply some silicone grease to the section threads to prevent ink leakage.

Late addition: I totally forgot about the Platinum cartridge adapter (sold separately) that allows you to use international ink cartridges in your Platinum fountain pens! I picked one up from Nikaido for under $3 CAD yesterday (as an aside, Nikaido is now open again on Mondays!)


Like several other Platinum models, the 'Prefounte' uses Platinum's “Slip & Seal" mechanism in its (snap) cap. This mechanism consists of a spring-loaded inner cap that--according to the Platinum USA website--"prevents ink from drying out in the pen with the cap on for one year". The cap snaps on firmly with an audible "click" and stays on securely. The pen's model name is screen-printed on the front of the cap, while the back of the cap has the nib width ("0.5M", in my pen's case), manufacturer's name (Platinum's stylized "P" logo and the word "Platinum"), and country of origin ("Made in Japan").

The elegant, chrome-plated stainless steel clip has a raised elongated pentagon at its top--a classy little touch--and clips onto paper and fabrics well. It is a bit tight, but I don't think this is the type of pen you'd clip onto a dress shirt pocket.

The pen's length is 13.8 cm capped, about 12 cm uncapped (nib tip to barrel end), 15.2 cm posted, and weighs 10.6 grams with no cartridge inside.

The section is very subtly tapered and 10.6 mm in diameter (according to Jet Pens) nearest the section-barrel joint. The section is a decent width for my hands and there's very little step-down from barrel to section, so I find it very comfortable to hold and use. The pen is light and well-balanced when posted, and the cap posts deeply, so I always use the pen posted.

(I love sections that match the rest of the pen, but I'm glad the section is colourless, so you can see that crazy-long collector!)

The stainless steel nib, feed and grip section are the same as the ones on Platinum's highly-popular 'Preppy' pocket fountain pens, so if don't like the nib on your 'Prefounte', you can easily swap in a 'Preppy' nib. The nibs slide off their feeds, but it's actually easier to swap out the nib-feed unit (gently -- the feed has a long, thin "tail") or the whole section. The 'Prefounte' comes in two nib widths -- 0.3mm and 0.5mm-- and the nib widths are engraved on the nibs, below the Platinum logo. The 0.5mm nib on mine writes very smoothly and lays down a Medium-Fine line. The ink flow is very good, and I've had no hard-starting issues with it.

Cleaning the pen out can be a bit challenging because of the aforementioned collector (the grey thing with all the fins, in the photo above); the collector is friction-fitted into the section and -apparently- impossible to remove without breaking it. What I do is: I remove the nib and feed together by pulling them out of the collector (again, take care not to break the feed), fill the collector with water using a syringe and shake the liquid out and/or suction it out with the syringe.

All in all, I really like the "Prefounte"--it's a nice-looking, well-made fountain pen that you can carry around and use without worrying about start-up issues (which is great if you're writing an exam, or taking quick notes). Best of all is its cost -- $14.95 CAD + tax; for the price of a McDonald's Extra Value Meal and a Apple Pie, you can own one of these cool starter pens. Many thanks to Joe & Sara of Nikaido for the pen!

(~Review by Maja~)

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